By on May 12, 2010

Electronic doo-dads such as collision-avoidance systems used to be the realm of pricier models. Fuji Heavy, parent of Subaru, will change that. They are dead set to nannify all Subarus with their newly developed collision avoidance system, says The Nikkei [sub].

The reason? Officially, it’s “growing consumer interest in automobile safety.” The truth is, Fuji figured how to make the gizmo much cheaper.

Fuji’s “EyeSight” uses standard stereoscopic cameras. This cuts the price of the gizmo down to 100,000 yen ($1080.) That’s about half of what current systems cost. Still, a grand is a grand, and a Subaru is a Subaru. Let’s hope the el-cheapo EyeSight will remain feature optional.

EyeSight will first be given to the new Legacy, due out this month in Japan. Subaru reckons a take rate of 30 percent. Subsequently, the Impreza, Forester and other models will get their own EyeSight.

Most likely, you will also find the gizmo in minicars by Daihatsu, “with a rollout for vehicles marketed overseas to be considered next year,” as The Nikkei speculates.

The EyeSight system uses two cameras close to the rearview mirror. It looks for obstacles in front of the car. If it finds one, the system first warns the driver. If the driver ignores the warning, that system slams the brakes. That should distract them from texting or applying lipstick.

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13 Comments on “Get Your Eyesight At Half Price. In A Subaru...”

  • avatar

    The EyeSight system uses two cameras close to the rearview mirror. It looks for obstacles in front of the car. If it finds one, the system first warns the driver. If the driver ignores the warning, that system slams the brakes.

    Seems to me that’s just going to increase the chance that an EyeSight-equipped car gets rear-ended itself.

    • 0 avatar

      My thoughts exactly.
      What if it’s a rain; or worse, a snow covered road where you don’t want to slam the brakes! This is getting ridiculous.

      If anything, I think it will encourage texting since you now have a “safety system” to keep you from hitting something or someone.

      I’ll stick with my 5 speed manual, no ABS, and two air bags … thank you very much.

  • avatar

    Seems to me that the best solution for collision avoidance isn’t adding gizmos to the car, but eliminating numbnuts from behind the wheel.

    • 0 avatar

      And you would be wrong in that supposition. As we’ve added safety features to cars, accidents per mile have been going down steadily every year, despite more cars on the road and more supposed distractions.

      Bad drivers will be bad drivers whether or not we train them, coddle them or take their toys away. Unless we’re proposing getting these people off the road entirely (good luck with that) or making some kind of wholesale cultural change (good luck with that x2), the best options are collision avoidance and mitigation systems like this that take the human factor out of the equation wherever possible.

      We’ve years of experience and data that prove that training and casual enforcement does not work all that well, while implementing “nanny technology” does.

  • avatar

    How about making cars easier to see out of as a safety feature? Car ads never mention visibility as a selling point. How about making beltlines lower, pillers less thick, rear decks lower and improve the side mirrors instead of adding all these electronic gadgets?

    • 0 avatar

      I feel that side mirrors are the only thing on your list that have improved (learned to drive on a ’94 Olds Eighty-Eight, a vehicle that was roughly the size of the Czech Republic yet had mirrors no larger than your average lady’s makeup compact – no joke. See also: Buick Roadmaster/Cadillac Fleetwood ’91-96, Cadillac Deville ’94-99).

      As for other things, the pillars are dictated by government-mandated roll-over protection standards (thanks, NHTSA/IIHS), the beltlines are consumer-driven due to the proliferation of SUVs (car drivers need to feel protected from the SUVs, SUV-to-car migrators need to feel some of the protection in a car they felt in their SUV), and low rear decks have been sacrificed on the altars of aerodynamics (the post-greenhouse area must be higher than the pre-greenhouse area to create a “cleaner” hole in the air) and luggage space (again, SUV refugees need big cargo areas, big families need big cargo areas, cars are increasing in size in every way).

      I don’t have ABS and I’m proud of that fact. I have two airbags and some seatbelts, and I don’t trust the airbags. If my ’95 G20 gets hit by a Suburban or Expedition, those little puffs of air aren’t going to do a bit of good anyway. I’m just waiting for a particularly rough pothole to blow one of them… I suppose I’m a minimalist.

  • avatar
    Mr Carpenter

    I was driving home from work yesterday evening (carpooling with my wife in our ’10 Subie Legacy, coincidentally), and (for a nice change) I didn’t actually have a tailgater right up my you-know-what.

    This sub-moronic, knuckle-dragging, imbecilic woman in a Taurus just HAD to pull out from a gas station on my right, cross 3 lanes and go. Just as I was coming up on her at a good 40 to 45 mph. With my lights on (because, hey, NOBODY seems to be paying attention to their driving but myself any more).

    Obviously, it was brake (AND air horn) test time.

    It was just by absolute sheer luck and grace that the person behind me was one of the 1% or 2% of drivers who don’t tailgate in a chronic habitual, brainless manner.

    Michigan law is changing so that it is to be illegal to text while driving, starting June 1st, I believe.

    There has been no mention from Lansing (the state capital) about how to implant common sense into Michigan drivers, however…

  • avatar

    I have to confess…

    So much lately has me foaming at the mouth.. in regards to pretty much everything.

    I hate the b.s Gm ads about Consumer Digest.

    I hate the ads about the Toyota woman who is now driving a Malibu because it is a solid car and ya dont have to settle.

    But a current one.. is some [BLEEP] in a Volvo..who drops the sunglasses.. AND GOES DOWN TO GET THEM… but thankfully her [BLEEP]ing car has the ability to [BLEEP]ing cover [BLEEP] ass.

    If ya would have LEFT the [BLEEP] glasses on the [BLEEP] floor in the first place.. ya wouldn’t have to take ya [BLEEP] eyes OFF the [BLEEP] road IN THE [BLEEP] [BLEEP] FIRST PLACE!

    [BLEEP] car safety systems!


  • avatar

    ABS will tend to look after activation of this system on slippery roads.

    The real “threat” of this system is that it prepares the way for cars to drive themselves. Lane sensing, gps and distance-sensing systems, not to mention parking systems and remote starting, can be knitted together so the driver becomes a passenger. Although this will horrify those who feel people were put on earth to operate the controls of transportation appliances and toys, it will go a long way to increasing road capacity, decreasing fuel consumption and eliminating accidents. Besides freeing up time to engage in driver distractions.

    I would definitely use a system like this. With pickups and vans and suv’s always blocking the visibility ahead, driving a sedan in heavy traffic has become somewhat more stressful than it used to be

  • avatar

    It will be like riding in a train or bus.
    “fun” will be so dumbed down – the marketing geniuses will have to change our sense and expectations of fun. Without fun in life, I wonder if thr “eyesight” will fail intentionally when it realizes how boring your life is.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually, the thought came to me after posting that such systems could have “mode” switch like automatic transmissions. You could set it to “Baruth” mode to scare the bejesus out of yourself and passengers.

      In the meantime, I’ll get my kinetic thrills from things like skiing where pushing the limits doesn’t have serious consequences such as result from pushing the limits too far while driving or cycling.

  • avatar

    The subaru “eyesight” feature doesn’t seem so useful to me, since it (I assume) will only work under ideal visibility conditions suitable for the cameras – during broad daylight. That’s when the system is least needed by the driver. A better system would be an infrared camera that displays obstacles on a heads-up display. This would help drivers avoid hitting pedestrians, animals, and vehicles under adverse conditions like darkness, heavy rain, or fog.

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